Brother David's Belgian-style Double Ale
Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Brother David's Belgian-style Double AleBrother David's Belgian-style Double Ale
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Ranked #191
Ranked #40,908
3.67 | pDev: 12.53%
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
California, United States
Brother David's Belgian-style Double AleBrother David's Belgian-style Double Ale
Notes: Inspired by the classic Dubbels of Belgium, our Brother David’s Double has a dark brown body and aromas of warm cocoa, banana, and cloves. Specialty malts impart a toasted, nutty character and flavors of chocolate-covered cherries and candied fruits, while the subdued hop profile and Abbey yeast create spicy, herbal notes to compliment the warm, slightly sweet finish. Winner of a Gold Medal in the 2011 Great American Beer Festival™, Brother David’s Double is a truly complex and potent ale meant to be savored or shared with friends.
Reviews: 266 | Ratings: 444 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

2.36/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Presentation: Funky 22 ounce Bomber. Not the usual Anderson Valley presentation, the crown cap is covered in a black plastic wax affair that takes some getting off. The usual colorful label has been replaced with a two-tone cream and sepia affair. Labeled as ‘Brother David’s Double Abbey Style Ale’ and listed at 9.0% Alc./Vol. Described as brewed from ‘malted barley, hops, water, demerara sugar and special Trappist yeast’. The label also states that this is ‘Never Heat Pasteurized nor Sterile Filtered’, recommended to be served at between 40°F to 45°F, that’s 4.44°C - 7.22°C in real money.

Appearance: Very dark brown body that had some very dark ruby hints when I held this to the light. Light brown head disappears before your very eyes as the beer is poured. Carbonation is low.

Nose: Smells like a sweet sugary Soda drink. Uurgh!! Sickly and a tad underwhelming.

Taste: Darkish sweet and sour malts, soggy bread, sweet yeast lots of brown sugar and erm….lots of brown sugar. About as complex as something that is very simple. A let down and seriously boring.

Mouthfeel: Average feel, probably the best and most bearable part of this drink, but this is only average though.

Drinkability: Halfway through I started to have burps that reminded of the ones you have when you drunk too much Coke, fizzy and sweet. The last quarter went down the sink.

Overall: What the Hell was I thinking?? I had already tried the rather crappy Triple when I spied this at Hi-Times in Costa Mesa, I picked it up to fondle whilst reading the label [as I do with all beers when I’m on a beertrip] but for some stupid reason I must have put this in my basket instead of back on the Shelf, I must be loosing it or the beer somehow brainwashed me, I didn’t even realize I had this until I got the Checkout. What a mistake.

It’s interesting that the label spells the word ‘Double’, a departure from the more traditional 'Dubbel', just like the beer itself!! Incredibly disappointing and just “so wrong”. Anderson Valley needs to excommunicate Brother David for this crap. Save your hard earned money!

Oct 21, 2004
More User Reviews:
Photo of rKunda
rKunda from California

4.02/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darker brown color, but very clear ale. I sloppily poured this into a glass, yet there is not much head that forms on this. The head that does form is pretty fizzy and poofs rapidly.

It's strong, 9.0% and it's somewhat noticeable in flavor and in smell, but it's not overpowering. The is quite strong is the flavor of this ale. It's almost fruity in a figgy kind of way and has a pleasant sweetness.

It drinks very smooth. It's got a little thickness going on and seems lighter on the carbonation (I usually like this in darker ales) and is overall a good beer.

I'd consider buying this in a bottle again. And I would order it if I saw it on tap in a heartbeat.

Apr 16, 2011
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atlbravsrno1 from New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jun 04, 2015
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GRG1313 from California

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Feb 08, 2016
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seand from California

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a reddish brown with a reasonable amount of off-white head. Just some film retains, along with a ring around the edge of the glass, leaving small bits of lacing.

S: Maple syrup sweetness with a touch of yeast.

T: Medium resin-y sticky sweetness, with a lighter sweet note throughout.

M: Full body, lightened up by the significant carbonation.

Overall, quite nice. The mouthfeel in particular is very nicely matched to the flavor.

Feb 14, 2014
Photo of Kromes
Kromes from Georgia

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear dark brown with ruby highlights and a thin, soapy tan colored head.

S: A somewhat banana, cherry aroma with alcohol and a touch of roasted malt.

T: The flavors are also a little bit banana and some cherry with a more robust brown sugar flavor than what is shown in the aroma. It is sweet, maybe too sweet. The alcohol is there but takes a background to the sweetness.

M: I would say that it is a little low on carbonation for a dubbel. Still has a decent body though.

O: It's a decent Belgian Style Dubbel. Some good flavors, but may be a little too sweet.

Jun 16, 2012
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Glibber from Idaho

3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice clear dark amber color, decent head upon pour, but dissipates down quickly. Smell alcohol, plum, some sweetness. Lightly carbinated, drinks smooth. Yeast, malt. I had the Rochefort 10 last night and this is not nearly as complex. This is a very good American beer, but not great.

Mar 15, 2011
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dougfir from Oregon

3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours a dark brown with very little head into their own Anderson Valley tulip glass. Darker than I'm used to for a double.

Smell - Yeast and sweet malt, but lacking some of the stronger yeast notes in other examples of this type.

Taste - Sweet malt, brown sugar followed by a brighter yeastiness and slight bitter hoppiness. Finishes with quite a nice malty alcohol aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Quite good. I feel the carbonation and sweetness go well together and everything goes down smoothly.

Drinkability - Though it has a fairly high abv, each sip left me wanting more. One 22oz is probably the limit before switching to something else.

Overall it's a decent double that's worth a try. Anderson Valley makes several other beers that are better in their class, and if you ask me, the Belgians they are attempting seem to be lacking something. Of course, if you get a chance, check out the brewery and take the's worth it.

Feb 22, 2009
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wordemupg from Canada (AB)

3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

650ml bomber poured into tulip 27/3/13

A clear reddish amber with a fair amount of bubbles but not much for head or lace just a short lived finger of tan foam

S brown sugar and brewers candy, some cola, spice I can't place, christmas cake, anise and a little booze, everything blends together quite well

T still pretty solid but not quite the harmony the nose had going for it, a little yeast and sweeter then the nose with slightly more booze, with some rum raisin

M medium bodied but it could use a few more bubbles, long nutty malty finish with just a little heat

O smells a highlight but nothing really sticks out good or bad, decent beer but no areas overly impressive

I doubt I'd buy another considering its 9$ for the bomber, one of those brews I don't feel ripped off but have no reason for a second

Mar 28, 2013
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LiquidAmber from Washington

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from 5/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark russet brown, almost a sherry color. Small, short lived light tan head with little lacing. Light aroma of sweet malt and dark fruit. Dark fruits and malt up front with a sherry like middle and dry malt finish. Finish is somewhat lacking. Not quite balanced. A pleasant dark Belgian ale, but not outstanding.

Aug 03, 2012
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berkey from California

3.22/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bottle poured into a tulip from notes 08/16/10.

Forms a nice tan colored head but retention isn't great relative to the style. Body is a reddish brown color.

Aroma is very strong and includes almonds and figs along with some brown sugar and spice. Not bad at all.

Flavor is very sweet and pushes the boundaries of being cloying. Loads of figs, over-ripe red apples and even straight up sugar. I don't necessarily mind a fruity Dubbel but with this one pushes it in my opinion and it kills the drinkability to a certain degree.

Funny how many of the elements seem to be in place for this to be good but somehow it doesn't quite work as well as it should. Not a bad beer but certainly not one of Anderson Valley's better offerings and nowhere near the best in the style.

Aug 18, 2010
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chicagobeerriot from Illinois

3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a lightly veiled copper. Smooth head that rapidly dissipated. Very sweet up front with a strong malt flavor dominating from the first sip. Alchohol and a very slight hops presence come in very late (a bit too late IMO). Some interesting flavors that never seem to come together in a balanced whole. Mouthfeel is think with carbonation that seems a bit light for the style. Combined with the sweetness it gives the beer an initial syrupy quality which is a bit unusual for the style. Altogether, if you're a fan of Belgian-style doubles, this is worth trying but will likely fall short of your favorites.

May 17, 2009
Photo of csiewert
csiewert from Oregon

3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear amber color with a finger of off white head with a slight amount of lacing and little retention. The aroma is strong with caramel notes and some maltiness. The taste is very malty and almost brown ale-ish. The mouthfeel is fairly smooth and nicely balanced, but fairly average. Overall an ok beer, but I'm not sure it really fits the style.

Apr 30, 2011
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wrightst from Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

Jun 02, 2014
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Todd from California

3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Sunset Bar & Grill.

Dark brown with an off-white foam lace. Sweet malt aroma with yeasty in the background. Smooth mouthfeel, though a too thin, with malt flavors of caramel and chocolate chip cookie sweetness, and some biscuit. Dark fruits. Slight, and brief, hop bite ... some orange blossom and leaf smoothing in. Alcohol is warming, touch of spice. Sweet finish.

Nice stab at the style, but pretty average.

Feb 21, 2005
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Beerandraiderfan from Nevada

2.75/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Kind of a mahogany pour, almost no white head to speak of. Aroma was brown sugar and alcohol, maybe some plums and raisins behind the brown sugar.

Taste, whoa, bitter and lots of alcohol with tons of yeast esters and phenols. Arrgh, sorry this isn't my thing. A beer has to be more enjoyable than it is challenging, and this beer falls squarely into the latter category. Decent amount of caramel gets pretty much lost in the more dominant flavors (off?). Toffee and beyond its prime dark fruit continue.

This beer needs to be dried out, tamed down in some areas, ramped up in others. It started out ok, but devolved into a mess frankly. As the beer went on and on, I wondered if I was just noticing the alcohol more, or if I wasn't paying close enough attention to notice the approach of a fusel alcohol remnant aroma wise.

I dunno, love the American style Anderson Valley, so maybe I'm not the best source for a review of this beer, but I'll be avoiding this one for the near future.

Jan 02, 2012
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beerluvr from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light tan head, clear dark amber-red liquid. Sweet candi sugar and malt nose, some light chocolate. More chocolate in the taste followed by sweet maltiness and some brown sugar then some nice hoppiness. Finishes on a sweet note, very drinkable, very good.

Mar 13, 2005
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philerman from Pennsylvania

3.49/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Dark brown, I guess the color of a weak coffee. As my buddy would say, a head thinner than a dime.

S: Sweet, somewhat pungent with a vingary (?) off-smell.

T: Much stronger than the other Double I've had a lot of recently (Flying Fish). Definitely shows it's ABV.

M: Not too tough to put down, but also definitely not sessionable.

O: Decent for the price (Believe I payed about $5) but not something to go out of the way for especially given the higher alcohol content for the style.

Jun 21, 2011
Photo of Brent
Brent from Kentucky

3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well - this is better than their tripel, at least. Overall, a pretty good effort at the style, but the achievement is just that. Poured a slightly murky dark brown. Some yeast phenols in the aroma. Candy sugar sweetness in reasonable context. Wants to go syrupy, but hangs back, fortunately. ABV is well integrated into the flavor profile, no harsh or hot alcohol notes. Finish is mild, with lingering bittersweetness.

Jun 16, 2005
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Evil_Pidde from Sweden

3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jan 20, 2015
Photo of Mark
Mark from California

3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Could it be!? A second Belgian ale that I liked? I did like this brew. it poured a deep burgundy, head retention was good and lacing just o.k. Typical spicy nose. Taste was very complex. Started off very smooth and malty. After that the spicy notes started to appear. not overpowering like some Belgians though. Hints of plums and raisins, maybe prunes? Good malt base. Tingly mouthfeel. Drinkable due to the complexity of this ale. I guess Dubbel is my favorite belgian style. Not bad.

Sep 11, 2004
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TMoney2591 from Illinois

2.97/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

It took me a while, but I finally pulled the trigger on this one. It pours a clear ruby-brown topped by a finger of wan khaki foam. The nose comprises brown sugar, dried maple sugar, light cardboard, a hint of dark fruits, and a twinge of banana peel. The taste brings in more of the same, with a stronger contingent of dark fruit and banana and a pervasive feeling of cardboard and old nuts. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda slick feel. Overall, this dubbel just didn't do it for me. I'm hoping it's past its prime, considering the strange and unappealing flavors, but I have my doubts.

Jul 24, 2013
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jdhilt from New Hampshire

4.32/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a one-finger light tan head, fades slowly, but leaves little lace. Deep clear amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is raisiny/malty. Starts sweet with caramelized malts, finish is smooth with hints of hops in background. Actually competes with a good Belgian double. $6.15 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

Jun 10, 2005
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dbossman from Nebraska

3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown with a quickly dissipating head and okay lacing

S: Sweet caramel and dark fruits; bready, sugary--brown sugar; some booze; lots of bready sweet malts

T: Sweet bready malts up front; boozy and a touch smokey; dark nutty fruits permeate the middle of the beer but then things fade at the end with a touch of a medicinal quality finishing things out

F: A bit thin throughout but enough of the beer does cling nicely to the mouth

O: A decent Dubbel; nutty, fruity, boozy--it loses a bit of the flavor on the back end but a decent beer overall

Jul 07, 2011
Photo of beerguy101
beerguy101 from California

4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong Ale Fest - 20003.
Reddish brown color. Small head. Aroma is fruity, malty and sweet. A medium bodied double, Malts are fruity, with touch of orange and apples. Nice touches of brown sugar and spices. A very nicely balanced double. Very smooth. No trace of alcohol at 8.5%. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

Jan 01, 2004
Brother David's Belgian-style Double Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 444 ratings